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Another KBR female placed under house arrest

In today’s Houston Chronicle there is an article about a former KBR employee from San Antonio named Wanda Caban, who gets involved in a romantic relationship with an Afghan she met while working for KBR at Bagram Air Force Base in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2006.

According to the article, all within a month, Wanda Caban, then 21, would convert to Islam, get pregnant, marry Mohamad (Shabir) Azimi, then 22, live under KBR house arrest and leave the country, hounded by KBR supervisors alarmed over her affair with an Afghan.

Intimate relationships and even public displays of affection were forbidden under her contract with KBR. But people looked the other way — until she and Shabir, as he is known, began going out. Then things became “really awkward,” she said.

“I was under 24-7 surveillance. I wasn’t charged with anything,” Wanda Azimi said, noting that she was kept at home for a week after missing a flight home. A KBR guard accompanied her to the dining hall and the restroom.

Read the remainder of this entry »

Defense contractors and their sex crimes go unreported and unpunished

David Isenberg: PMC and Sex Crimes

David IsenbergHuffington Post
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)
Posted: April 21, 2010 12:07 PM

On April 16 the Department of Defense Inspector General released a report that nobody has been talking about. Allow me to be the first. Perhaps we should subtitle it the crime that dare not speak its name, as it deals with a topic that most private military contractors (PMC) generally don’t talk about publicly.

The title of the report is “Efforts to Prevent Sexual Assault/Harassment Involving DOD Contractors During Contingency Operations.” .

My first thought is how is it that some contractors can’t seem to keep it in their pants? This is an issue that seems to keep happening over the years; from the days when DynCorp contractors were involved in a sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia when employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves to the gang-rape of Jamie Leigh Jones a former KBR employee who claimed that seven KBR employees drugged and gang-raped her on July 28, 2005 at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.

For those who like to dismiss such things as isolated occurrences just head on over to the “Rape, Hazing, Discrimination & Harassment” section of Ms. Sparky’s blog and you will be promptly disabused of such a notion. Read the remainder of this entry »

Pentagon estimates 90% of sexual assaults go unreported

The War Within

Monday, Mar. 08, 2010
By NANCY GIBBS – Time Magazine

What does it tell us that female soldiers deployed overseas stop drinking water after 7 p.m. to reduce the odds of being raped if they have to use the bathroom at night? Or that a soldier who was assaulted when she went out for a cigarette was afraid to report it for fear she would be demoted — for having gone out without her weapon? Or that, as Representative Jane Harman puts it, “a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”

The fight over “Don’t ask, don’t tell” made headlines this winter as an issue of justice and history and the social evolution of our military institutions. We’ve heard much less about another set of hearings in the House Armed Services Committee. Maybe that’s because too many commanders still don’t ask, and too many victims still won’t tell, about the levels of violence endured by women in uniform. Read the remainder of this entry »

Contractors “ill-prepared” for consequences of hiring criminals???

Franken amendment threatens to take funds from contractors

2010 Defense Appropriations Act provision witholds money from contractors using employee arbitration clauses

By Matthew Weigelt • Feb 22, 2010

Contractors, particularly large defense companies, are ill-prepared for a provision of the 2010 Defense Appropriations Act that stops funds from going to companies that require employees sign arbitration clauses.

Known as the Franken amendment for its sponsor Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the provision gets the federal government more deeply involved in the employer-employee relationship at defense contractors and other companies.

The amendment, which went into effect Feb. 17, prohibits a contractor or subcontractor from receiving any government money in fiscal 2010 if they require employees or independent contractors to sign arbitration clauses. The amendment also bans defense companies from enforcing any existing agreements.

Arbitration is a process by which two parties, such as an employer and an employee, go to a third party to resolve a conflict. It’s a step away from a lawsuit. Read the remainder of this entry »

David Isenberg: KBR is Asking for It

David IsenbergHuffington Post
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)
Posted: February 8, 2010 11:54 PM

To paraphrase comedian Henny Youngman’s famous one-liner, take my KBR, please.

After all the bad press U.S. engineering and construction company KBR has received over the years for its operations in Iraq , both during its time as a Halliburton subsidiary and since, one might think it had learned a thing or two about how to avoid sticking its foot in its mouth.

But you would be wrong, As case in point consider the following legal brief KBR filed, which was posted online by the estimable Ms. Sparky — who is to chronicling KBR misdeeds, including those against it own employees, as white is to rice — in regard to the case of Jamie Leigh Jones.

For those who missed this news Ms. Jones is the then 20-year old former KBR/Halliburton worker, who says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad in late July 2005.

The main points are by now well known. She says that just four days after arriving in Iraq she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by “several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally.” Jones said that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped “both vaginally and anally,” but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers. Read the remainder of this entry »